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option4 Update #62 NZFN Sept 2005

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Tangata whenua invite recreational fishers to join Customary Forum

NZ Fishing News
September 2005


This article was originally published in the New Zealand Fishing News October 2005 edition.

Hokianga Accord
Great Barrier reserve

Hokianga Accord

The second hui at Whakamaharatanga Marae saw representatives from Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai, Ngati Whatua, NZRFC, NZBGFC, option4 and the Ministry of Fisheries meet to discuss the establishment of a Regional Customary Forum. The first hui in July was well reported by Steve Radich in last month's Fishing News (Page 20). There is no doubt, the desire to work together to advocate non-commercial fishing interests burns brightly. The goodwill and commitment to get stuck in together to advocate non-commercial fishing interests is infectious and stimulating.

Day one was spent developing further understanding of the Crown obligations to "provide for the input and participation of tangata whenua having a non-commercial interest in fish stocks or areas" – (Section 12(1) (b) of the 1996 Fisheries Act). The Minister, David Benson-Pope has written to Sonny Tau (Ngapuhi Runanga Trust Chairman) advising him of full support for this union of non-commercial fishing interests. The Ministry staff present at the hui were extremely helpful and professional. The Terms of Reference and Memorandum of Understanding necessary to fulfill Crown obligations are well under way. The scope of input and participation is yet to be determined, however rest assured that all present are focused on "more fish in the water" as well as Customary management and regulations. The clear understanding that the large majority of kai moana harvested by Maori is categorised as recreational fishing has certainly helped to broaden the role of these Regional Forums.

It was also determined that we need to write a Memorandum of Understanding between the tangata whenua and recreational fishing representatives. The Work Program and Diary for fisheries management input and participation are also under construction.

All attending the hui's to date are agreed that transparency and timely reporting to the general public is essential. A comprehensive record of the evolution of this forum may be found on the www.option4.co.nz website – front page, middle. The name "Hokianga Accord" has been chosen to describe this forum.

The next hui for this Forum will be held at the end of October. Please, if you would like to attend simply call 0274 506065 or email hokiangaforum@option4.co.nz and your details will be included in the circulation list. We encourage you to make the effort. Every hui to date has been a most rewarding experience for those present. Not much sleep, heaps of work achieved, very efficient use of time all round and a solid insight into the power of the marae and the hui approach to dealing with important issues – a real eye opener. A special thank you to Guff and May Rahiri and their whanau for their generous and faultless hospitality. The kai was plentiful and delicious. Creamed paua on toast followed by flounder for breakfast certainly sets one up for a productive days work. It does not get better than this.

Submissions on Snapper 8, Flounder, Mullet, Kahawai and Kingfish.

To those of you who came through with suggestions and contributions to these submissions – well done and thank you. Be assured that your input is carefully considered and incorporated wherever possible. The process option4 strive to deliver for compiling submissions to fisheries management processes is as inclusive as possible. Time is more often than not our problem. In one situation after another we are denied reasonable time to outline issues to you, the fishing public, and then incorporate input. This has to change.

With the Ministry signaling a comprehensive overhaul of how fisheries are to be managed with the introduction of Fisheries Plans we would hope that much more time is to be allowed for us to consult each other in a timely manner and deliver some solid collective wisdom to the negotiating table.

We had expected the Minister to have made his decisions on these very important inshore fisheries by now. The recently released Labour Party policy on recreational fishing to have fisheries important to the non-commercial sector managed at or significantly above Bmsy bodes well for these decisions. It will be interesting to see how the decisions reconcile with the policy statement.

Great Barrier Marine Reserve application.

Predictably the Department of Confiscation has trampled the peoples input to their shoddy process and given their Minister a recommendation to approve the Application. It is incredible that a Crown agency could behave so disrespectfully. They know they are playing with fire. They know they have no support from tangata whenua. They know they have a very, very angry boating fraternity and yet they carry on and to hell with the consequences – organisational credibility incinerated with little or no regard for the future. The Minister of Conservation, Chris Carter has given his approval. This effectively removes him from the equation of this reserve.

Now the process rests (briefly) with the Ministry of Fisheries. They have assured us they will not be commencing their concurrence decision making process before the election. By the time you read this however, the election will be over and MFish may well be underway.   We are writing asking for an outline of their process and time table. We will feature that next month. At the first Whakamaharatanga marae hui Stan Crothers, the Deputy CEO for MFish, assured tangata whenua that there will be a hui held at Great Barrier to discuss concerns about this reserve application. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear first hand how tangata whenua feel about this contemporary confiscation, as well as being a beaut opportunity for the public to demonstrate some solidarity and support for the people of Aotea who are being so abused with this heavy handed DoC attitude and behaviour. Think about making the effort to be there. If you would like to be advised about when and where please call 0274 506065 or email greatbarrier@option4.co.nz to be kept informed of developments.


Dr Floor Anthoni continues to astound us with his insight and depth of observation and deduction. His most recent work, the "Dark Decay Assay" is now online at https://www.seafriends.org.nz/dda/index.htm

This is groundbreaking material. Very complex but definitely worth study time. The entire site is a remarkable compilation of many years painstaking observation and testing all presented in a very user friendly manner – a must read in our opinion.


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